Starting A Photojournal

Oh boy. It’s late. I’m charging through the wee hours of early morning. Just putting this out there as a compliment to my photography. This blog is a behind the scenes record of my photography.

Here’s a photo I’d like to say a few things about. 25720054290_d78cd9ca35_oI took this one while at a comic-con. The con was a good opportunity to practice portrait photography. I want to master portraits.

The best way to learn a new style of photography is to just get out there and jump right into it. I had very little preparation for this project. I took the best lens I had for the job, a 43-86mm zoom, and just went for it.

The lighting was very challenging. Comic-cons are usually held in giant convention centers with high ceilings. The lighting is crap. But I took my speedlight with me and used it for the first time. One thing about it that I found useful is it has a little white reflector that pops out to achieve catchlighting when using bounce. Now, there’s nothing to bounce off of in a convention hall, so I just angled the light about 45 degrees and hoped for the best. You can see the catchlight reflector worked though.

I took this while squeezing my way through the throngs of folks going here and there on the main floor of the con. My subject wasn’t posing, he was also squeezing his way through the mass of people. His cosplay is unknown to me, but it was striking and well done. I had to stop him and ask for a very quick photo.

The lens I was using was a manual focus lens, and I was shooting in aperture priority mode, so I had to fuss with my settings to get the right depth of field. It was really only a few seconds that I had to take this photo, a small window of opportunity, and I was nervous that I’d flub the settings or some random person would walk into frame and ruin it. But things worked out well and I got the shot.

What did I learn from that day of shooting? Go after the shot. Don’t always plan and wait for the perfect set of circumstances. And be brave. Really what I was doing on that day was a mix of portrait and street photography. And there were a lot of reasons to shy away from the challenge of shooting under poor conditions. But forcing myself to stretch the limits of my gear and make the best lighting possible out of a crappy lighting situation made me focus on going after the shots. Most of all it built my confidence. I’m looking forward to another portrait project.


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